The Web of Soothing Lies
A lesson from mankind’s experience is that all past generations have lived “interesting times.” Popular amnesia likes to lose sight of this; therefore, we think our day’s vicissitudes are unprecedented. That said it appears that we are departing from the cast of the past in a way that shatters patterns. Below follows a move through time to the discernible future in our present.
During the development of “Western Civilization,” our relationship to authority changed significantly. We went from chaos to submission and then, once order returned, we grew into a participatory system based upon delegated power. This is the condition of our day that might be surpassed through that new departure.
The classical age had its center in the Mediterranean. It expressed itself through an intellectually Greek and politically Roman order. It disintegrated due to a combination of inner decadence and outer pressure. Instability undermined civilization; an age of anarchy, the “The Dark Ages” dawned. Europe sank into barbarity and into the degradation of its powerless peoples. The system that emerged in the context of backwardness resembles Mafia rule. A difference between systems that traded protection for subservience is that, for centuries, no gangbusters were around.
Consolidation set in by the high Middle Ages. Although the implications are not PC, we see a third world order that heaved itself to where growth became a system. Progress involved the development of crafts, sophisticated exchange and trade. Significantly, power structures fractured with the rise of self-governing cities and their new class. Politically, secular monarchs and the Church competed for supremacy. Cracks appeared that were widened by the independently thinking tribe of the learned. Their findings challenged the dogmas of science and theology, the intellectual foundations of the immutable order of an intentionally static civilization.
This recovery had a blemish, which also happened to be one of its preconditions. To provide stability and security, the state had to be empowered. Its rise and the expansion of its authority contained problems for the future that became our present.
The amalgam of these self-generated traits created an inquisitive and innovative culture. It had lost the fear of the unknown of the classical civilizations that the West was surpassing. What emerged departed not only from its limiting tradition but also from the traits of other traditional civilizations. The age of progress, expansion and self-enhancement, brought political maturity. It expressed itself through actions that changed the order of Absolutism in 17th century England.
Bits of economic progress lead to a tad of political progress. By the 19th century, progressive democracy went beyond theory and converted its ideas into practice in an overseas mutant. In time, advancing entities installed representative democracy, which delegated the community’s power to elected bodies empowered by a majority to act in its behalf. While the result was not immaculate, the system worked. That was because the people’s agents felt obliged to respect their people’s will. Even so, mistakes were made which could be corrected by “throwing the rascals out.”
Like all human constructs, representative democracy had corruption in its DNA. Established, self-contented, and alternatively ruling parties emerged. Power was found to be profitable and they discovered in the state an instrument to benefit themselves and their supporters. Elections contested by differently labeled segments of the political elite, brought the expansion of the class that gained from governing. Statism enhanced the power of the state-class that made gifts with what it took from those deemed to possess in excess. Redistribution bought the votes that legitimized the scheme. The scheme? Some provided gifts, others cast votes.
Here our narrative can shift from the past to the present tense. Once administrators have a grip on the system that empowers them, they create an ideological justification for their role and privileges. Accordingly, the moment’s “liberal” dogmas are cemented in “political correctness.”
Note that this dogmatic standard is now the “opium” of the political class and its media. Enlisted by the grants of elites, artificial visions can be projected. The “ersatz” image is sold as “truth” to those that still trust what they see in print.
That part of our present that points to the future follows from the growing inability of the engineers of consciousness to suppress real-life experiences by their make believe. In a growing number of countries, people discover that the official truth is falsehood and that the banned perception of what “is,” is what reality happens to be.
There is a growing discrepancy between the fake that we are commanded to accept as truth, and the facts that are overlooked because the theory denies them. In many areas, the delusion propagated to expel an obstructed truth is not apparent to the duped. How many can see through the manipulation of credits, bad debts and the hushed-up deficits cultivated by central banks?
On the other hand, there are areas in which the gap between what “they say” and what “we know” is discernible. A case is that of uncontrolled migration and the cultural clashes all experience. The denial of reality in the name of the myths of multi-cultural bliss is challenging our governors. PC-thinkers that claim to represent democracy refuse to recognize threats and to hinder modernity’s foes.
Once, the political class could use the liberal consensus to impose its view in the conflict between the real world and their pretension. This ability to tell the governed how to think correctly is wearing thin as elites are losing their credibility. Awaked, the masses are discovering that, they are, that is the people are, in opposition.
The upshot is not alienation from politics but estrangement from traditional politics and its magicians. New movements express this dissatisfaction with the governance practiced by those entrusted with the task. They share a rejection against the stymied truth preached from above. These new forces are accused of being “Nazis” even if they only reject the practices by which they suffer in the service of political correctness. Everyone knows what a much-cursed Premier dared to articulate, namely, that the soothing lies of political correctness do not protect from terrorism.
The era that seems to dawn signifies a new relationship to the state. The rebellion of the mass – feeling “they up there” and we “down here” – does more than to ignore traditional leaders when it intends to limit these in the control of the state. What we see is not modern anarchism; direct democracy is searching for instruments to assert itself. In an age, when all persons became connected, but within the confines of the national state, movements are emerging that coalesce around similar issues. Such is the wish to “feel at home” in one’s home, protection from privileged criminals, and an economic order that does more than to postpone bankruptcy. Also wanted is an education that educates before it distributes diplomas and a measure of social security that rewards the thrifty and not the profligate.
Beyond the single items stands the central demand articulated by these budding movements. Even if the challenged political class describes its disobedient wards as extremists, the uppity feel that as practiced, politics exploits them while it fails to serve them. The point of consensus is that the emerging forces of popular power wish to govern from below and that they want to take back their system to reassert their sovereignty. Calling those names by the discredited that offer old answers to new problems, will not end the ongoing uprising of the masses.
Will a portion of political power be taken back by making the people truly sovereign? If this happens then a turning point in our development will be achieved.